My recent post about showing your donors you know them* through personalization struck a big chord. Folks have asked for more tips on the subject of building and sustaining meaningful, loyal relationships, so I’ve taken the liberty of sharing this article originally published in The Bridge. The 5 tips are towards the bottom, so scroll down if you’re impatient. Okay…Details
I’ve often wondered why we’re the only sector that defines ourselves by what we’re NOT. Nonprofit. Why not what we ARE? Social benefit. Rather than focusing so much on how to scrimp and save and be as cost-efficient as possible, shouldn’t we be focusing on how to spend and grow and be as big and effective as possible?
Nonprofits are stuck in a vicious cycle that jeopardizes their ability to raise the resources they need to succeed. Three “town criers” have recently shed light on the growing problem. Though they come at the problem from different perspectives, it is arguable that they’re headed in the same direction. Let’s take a look at the underlying reasons for the sector’s inability to build sustainable capacity.Details
Here comes this month’s *SMIT (Single Most Important Thing I have to tell you): the odds are good that you’re searching for love in all the wrong places.
Do a little spring cleaning and get rid of your apathetic donors. I don’t mean you should toss them out the window. I mean you should do something to overcome their apathy. It’s not their fault. Chances are it’s yours. I know that may sound harsh. But, gosh darn it, we betray our donors all the time. Instead, we should go to them and give them some love. It’s really not that hard to retain your donors; you simply must have a strategy.
Most of us don’t even see the mess we’re making. Just like that pile of papers that’s sitting over in the corner waiting to be tended to, our eyes glaze over. We’re apt to virtually ignore the broad base of donors in the middle, as well as our donors who lapse. We send them one or two perfunctory renewal appeals; then we’re done. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because announcing a big upgrade and securing a new donor just seems a lot sexier than renewing folks. But sustainable fundraising is not about sexy.Details
Your donors are special people who deserve to be savored. For good things once a year is not enough. Why do so many of us only eat turkey once a year? Or pumpkin pie? I’ve no idea! It’s not rational. These are special foods we value and take great ight in. It’s also not rational…Details
Of all our friends the best is time because it passes, and stays, when we need it to do so. Sometimes we probably need both depending on the scene of the crime or creation du jour. Tempis fugit, for which we’re grateful; yet there are nights we wish never to end. The present is hard.…Details
Are you focused on the gift or the giver? Thanking donors is the one thing most nonprofits do not spend enough time thinking about. Too often I find that staff spend 95% of their time crafting the fundraising appeal and getting embroiled in project management – design; layout; ing, postage, etc. Finally, the letter (or…Details
What do we want most to sustain our nonprofits? Loyal donors, natch! How do we get them? Oh, that’s simple. We badger them for gifts. When they give, we warehouse them in our database. We then send a form letter (pretending it’s personal because we use their given name and indicate their gift was earmarked…Details
How do you show donors you’re thankful? November culminates [in the United States] with a feast of Thanksgiving for all with which we are blessed. Our greatest blessing in the public benefit sector is the donors who support our work and enable us to fulfill our vital missions. Last month I talked a lot about…Details
Full confession. Seth Godin is getting to me. Every day he inspires me and I just have to act (aka blog). A recent post goes to the heart of what makes a business brilliantly successful. And it’s not the strategy or the product. It’s Feet on the street. And, I would add, it’s not just…Details
Give me one moment in time When I’m than I thought could be When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away And the answers are all up to me Give me one moment in time When I’m racing with destiny Then in that one moment of time I will feel I will feel…Details